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Is it dumb to put an area rug on top of carpeting?????

Leslie Porter
April 27, 2012
I was wondering if it's ok to put an area rug on top of wall to wall carpet. I have new carpet but am considering adding a area rug on top of it for a punch of color. Just wondering if this looks dumb or is it ok?

Comments (23)

  • motherbear
    No, it can provide color & dimension to the space.
  • PRO
    Walls Republic Inc
    not at all, its a way of dividing space and giving sections to a room e.g. dining, lounging, etc.
  • PRO
    Barnhart Gallery
    If you like "the layered look" in your clothing, it's a yes for your home as well. Some will disagree, but it can be done tastefully.
    I got only one page of photos searching for rug over carpet:
  • Emily H
    I'd love to see a pic when you have it in place!
  • PRO
    Cabell Design Studio
    Hello Leslie,

    What a great question!

    We use area rugs all the time with clients who have existing wall to wall. As mentioned above by Prime Walls, it can provide the division of space and allow for furniture grouping and as mentioned by motherbear, it provides color and dimension usually necessary with wall to wall. Our clients are always happy with the results.

    The only issue we have ever encountered is a slight tendency for the top rug to 'creep' along the bottom rug. It is up to you to decide if you choose to use the light tack strips available for holding the top rug more securely in place. Not really a glue, not a rug pad, sort of a tacky double tape for the backside of the top rug.

    Please see the attached Houzz links for several different versions of layering carpets (I particularly like the last one and have added it to one of our own Ideabooks so thank you for the inspiration!):

    Home office · More Info

    Home office · More Info

    Traditional furnishings translated to a transitional look · More Info

    Modern Vintage Nursery · More Info

    Greenwood Village Home · More Info

    Best of luck with your decorating; please let us know if we can be of any assistance,

  • PRO
    Gabberts Design Studio
    We agree! Here is another link showing an example of using an area rug on carpeting from our designer Nancy Woodhouse:
    Great Room · More Info
  • Manon Floreat
    @Gabberts Design - That's my favorite layering treatment - four legged furry rug on top of a rug, on top of a rug!
  • PRO
    Gabberts Design Studio
    We really love the dogs too! In fact, this client loves her dogs so much that the whole design project was about the dogs! Here are two photos that you might get a kick out of! Enjoy!
    (Click on the bench photo to see the Maitland Smith dog statue!)
  • PRO
  • Penny Anderson
    Looks like the verdict is "Yes!" Just going to add that I have done it and worked beautifully. I put a blue cotton Pottery Barn rug over cream wall to wall and left a good two feet baorder showing around the edge. It really pulled the room furniture in and together. Just remember to put a rug pad down. In my situation it was very good advise because the blue could have easily bled onto the cream carpet. All the best!
  • Leslie Porter
    Thanks so much for all the replies!!! The wall to wall has a longer nap, would that make any differance of how the area rug would look?
  • PRO
    Mint Design
    I would suggest the longer nap on the top rug...I have never layered with the longer nap on the bottom. Not to say it can;t be done. Can you post a photo?
  • dsusey6347

    Burgandy area rugs

  • qofmiwok

    I always heard it would damage the carpet if you didn't use a pad between. Is that untrue? Thanks!

  • ixora roberts

    To me is a must..!! Otherwise there is no division or focus to the area..

  • Cheryl Smith
    I say NO do NOT do this. I have tried but they always move even with a slightly sticky protector made to put between 2 rugs to stop this. If using it in a room that you frequently walk through or move furniture as with dining room chairs it is futile they WILL move.
  • caboti

    What if you put a rug with a bound edge on it - over a carpeted floor. Will that help keep the rug in place and keep it from buckling?

  • Cheryl Smith

    the binding only keeps the carpet from unraveling. if there is a pile at all on the rug - don't use. better luck if it is a very short loop like an indoor outdoor carpet you are putting it on, even a berber will give as you walk on in and make the upper rug buckle. as I stated above it never really works. if you never walk in the room or move furniture, if it is just to look at as in magazine pictures give it a try but you are forwarned if you actually live in this room.

  • charlotteharrod1

    Yes, I think rugs on top of carpet looks odd.

  • nikki chaffin

    I'm doing it in an apartment I just rented. This rug is too luxurious and I had to have it. Yes it wrinkles all day long. I spend my days straightening and smoothing. But I wouldn't give up this luxurious beauty for anything.

  • Jeanne Hamilton
    I am contemplating the same thing. I have a small sitting area at the top of my stairs that’s 6x9 and have tried a 6 ft round and a 4x6 but not sure about either. I want a pop of color and my bookshelves are blue so was going to do a rug with blues. Anyone have thoughts?
  • PRO
    Kelli Kaufer Designs

    Jeanne, I recommend removing one of the chairs - they compete against each other. One is modern and airy and the other is more traditional shabby chic. Which look are you going for? The space is smaller, one should be sufficient.

    Out of the 2 rugs, I prefer the rectangle as it does not look like a solid color. If you can still return them, I would get something that is a bit more lighter in color with the dark blue, the dark rugs are a bit too stark against the light carpet.

    Once you get the cabinet filled, wall art, accessories, ottoman and lamp it will look nice.

    Hope this helps.

  • Jeanne Hamilton
    I went ahead and got a cowhide rug at someone’s suggestion and love it! It made the space fun and added some color. I’ve gotten lots of compliments.

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